Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

July 2022 Issue

Maybe We Should Take a Moment to Pray!

From the June 2022 Issue

It’s More Than a Good Book

It’s More Than a Good Book

Millions of people simply do not want the Bible to be true. Today’s so-called New Atheism is made up of people who are relieved to think there’s no God to whom they’re accountable; no rules they must follow; no judgment to fear in the future. They can live as they want and make up rules as they go, while trying not to think about the finality of death. To them, there’s little good about the Bible, except perhaps some miscellaneous, random quotes or snatches of poetry. Many of them claim it was the Bible itself that drove them to atheism, though I don’t think that’s the whole story.

The human heart is rebellious, and we want to be our own gods, captains of our own souls, stiff-necked in the face of rebuke or correction.

Regardless of the railing of its critics and the libel of its foes, the Bible is good, cover to cover.

But the Bible is a Good Book, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I pity those who willfully reject its truth. Regardless of the railing of its critics and the libel of its foes, the Bible is good, cover to cover. It always has been, and it always will be.

The Bible Is a Good Book—Here’s Why!

Without rival, the Bible has inspired more beautiful art and music than any other source in history. It has emboldened more humanitarian causes and fired up more noble endeavors than any other book. It has produced more heroes, healed more wounds, educated more minds, and comforted more hearts than all the other books in the world combined.

It is the one and only truly Good Book.

There’s a simple reason for this. It’s from a good God. Listen to these verses: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father.… I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people…. I give you good doctrine: do not forsake my law.... Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad…. You are good, and do good; teach me Your statutes…. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news… who brings glad tidings of good things (James 1:17; Luke 2:10; Proverbs 4:2; Proverbs 12:25; Psalm 119:68: Isaiah 52:7, emphasis added).

The Bible teaches us about a God who does good things for us, who espouses good causes, and who ensures that goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives. It challenges us to be good, to do good things, to think good thoughts, and to speak good words. It shows us how to give a good life, one that is pleasing to God.

No other book can give us the very thoughts of God for the saving of our souls.

It teaches us to be good husbands, wives, parents, citizens, neighbors, and church goers.

Those things alone would have made the Bible a Good Book. But we can’t stop there. The Bible is a Good—a Great—Book because it contains the Good News of total forgiveness from the totality of our sins. It reveals the incredible story of how God the Son became the Son of Man to die for the sins of the world. And its greatest message is one of resurrection and eternal life—everlasting fellowship with the Heavenly Father who thinks about us day and night. No other book can give us the very thoughts of God for the saving of our souls.

That means the Bible is more than the Good Book.

Only the message of the Bible is strong enough to break through our hardened hearts, grip our weary minds, and bring us heavenly peace.

The Bible is more than a Good Book because it offers nonstop comfort. A friend of mine woke up in a depressed state recently. He had slept fitfully, and he was tired and gloomy. Opening his Bible, he came to Psalm 69:1, “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.”

“Yes,” he said, “that’s how I feel.”

As he continued reading, he came to verse 29: “I am poor and sorrowful; let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.” That became his prayer, and by the time he closed the Bible, his heart and mind were strong and set for the day.

That afternoon, he came home to find his housekeeper weeping as she went about her work. She was rubbing her face pitifully as she tried to go about her cleaning. When he asked what was wrong, she recounted all her troubles.

“Do you feel like this?” asked my friend, opening his Bible to Psalm 69 and showing her verse 1.

“Yes,” she said, “the waters have come up to my neck.”

My friend was able to go through the psalm with her, sharing the comfort he himself had received earlier that day. He was amazed at how quickly God had given him an opportunity to pass along the passage that had so recently strengthened him.

The Bible is more than a Good Book because it offers never failing wisdom. Earlier this year, Korean-American writer Min Jin Lee told a reporter for the New Yorker that she used to read a bevy of newspapers every morning, but she found that didn’t help her. Then she decided to read a chapter from the Bible every day and to study the notes about it in her study Bible. She said, “It is like listening to God. It’s kind of like listening to a book. I’m overhearing the thoughts of God.”1

Whatever our profession, we begin to understand life better through the daily reading and study of the Bible. It’s overhearing the thoughts of God. No verse says, “Get your oil changed today” or “Plan a vacation for August.” But as God’s Word dwells richly in us, we begin to make better decisions about both the mundane matters and the weighty circumstances we face, and we’re better able to navigate the difficult issues of each day.

Most of all, the Bible is more than a Good Book because it explains matters of eternity. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

In John Fea’s book about the history of the American Bible Society, there’s a story of J. J. Hughes, a Bible distributor who worked among the poor in Alabama in earlier days. One day he heard that an ungodly man threatened his life. He determined to visit the man, riding his horse through a rainy night to get to the man’s home. When the man opened the door, Hughes was shivering from the cold and asked if he could warm himself by the fire. The man grudgingly told him to come in as his wife was putting out breakfast. Over the meal, the man told Hughes he had gotten along very well without a Bible and didn’t want one.

Just then, the man’s sons came into the room, and Hughes asked if they could read. Learning they were literate, he offered them both a Bible. In fact, Hughes opened his own Bible and read a chapter and offered prayer for the family.

At that moment, everything changed. The man’s eyes flooded with tears, his wife began sobbing, and the boys all started to cry. The following Sunday the man came to hear Hughes preach and wept all through the sermon. The next week, he followed Hughes eighteen miles to hear another sermon. The man, with a Bible under his arm, said, “Oh my dear friend, I have never wanted to see any man half as much as I want to see you.”

The man said he had spent several sleepless nights reading the Bible, and he wanted to give his life to the Lord, as did his family.2

Only the message of the Bible is strong enough to break through our hardened hearts, grip our weary minds, and bring us heavenly peace. As we devote time each day to studying its words, we grow in faith and in fellowship with our loving Lord. The Bible, through the Holy Spirit, reveals more and more to us every time we read it.

The world needs the Word! And so do you!

It’s a Good Book. It’s the Good Book.  But there’s more to Scripture than its commands for us to be good. It wants us to be godly—to become more and more like God Himself every day.

It’s a God-given Book.

And in a very real sense, it’s the only Book. Let’s stand strong in the glorious Word of our unfailing God and Savior.

Sources:

1Michael Luo,“What Min Jin Lee Wants Us To See,” The New Yorker, February 17, 2002
2John Fea, The Bible Cause (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 36-37.

 

 

 

This Month's Magazine Resource

Answers to Questions About Prayer

In Answers to Questions About Prayer, new from David Jeremiah, you will learn answers to some of the most important questions you may have about talking to your Heavenly Father! This book is divided into five sections and makes it easy to find the answers to your questions. You will also find Prayers of Jesus to model and Scripture references for specific topics regarding prayer.

Learn More »

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